Creativity

David Lee Roth's Squeals Highlight the Curves of the Acura NSX in Brand's Super Bowl Ad

Classic Van Halen Song 'Runnin' With the Devil' Backs Big Game Spot

By E.J. Schultz. Published on Jan 29, 2016

Editor's Pick

Acura's NSX supercar stars in the brand's 30-second Super Bowl ad, with a serious soundtrack to match. David Lee Roth's squeals from the classic Van Halen song "Runnin' with the Devil" accompany shots dramatizing the car's sleek lines and curves, as well as the production process involved in making the NSX. Extreme close-ups portray melting aluminum, sparks flying and the engine revving.

The ad is running in the first quarter and was created by Mullen Lowe, Los Angeles.

The product-first approach runs counter to typical Super Bowl ad formulas of using celebrities, talking animals, one-liners, or tear-jerking scenes. "This is one of those products that you just want to let it speak for itself and you don't want to get in the way of that message," said Leila Cesario, Acura's manager-national advertising.

With a starting price tag of $156,000, the Acura NSX supercar might be the most expensive product appearing in a Super Bowl ad this year. Acura estimates annual demand for the made-to-order car at just 800 vehicles annually.

So why spend the estimated $5 million it costs to run a 30-second Super Bowl ad on a niche product that the majority of people watching the game probably cannot afford? According to Acura, the goal is to use the flashy car to highlight the Acura brand's new "precision crafted performance" marketing theme and also win some love for lower-priced models.

"This car is a representation of precision crafted performance and we are looking for the halo effect on all of our models," Ms. Cesario said.

Acura used a different tactic when it last appeared in the game in 2012. That ad featured Jerry Seinfeld battling noted gearhead Jay Leno for the first NSX off the production line.

This year's ad uses red, white and blue colors in a subtle move to call out the vehicle's U.S. roots.

Acura, which is owned by Honda, says the NSX is "the only supercar designed, developed and manufactured in the U.S." Global production will begin this spring at a manufacturing center in Marysville, Ohio. Consumers can begin ordering the car on Feb. 25, the ad points out.

The ad represents the first time Van Halen has allowed "Runnin' with the Devil" to be used in an ad, according to Acura. The Van Halen brothers are apparently fans of the NSX.

Read more about the campaign over at AdAge.com.

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Credits

Date
Jan 29, 2016
Agency:
Mullen Lowe
Chief Creative Officer:
Mark Wenneker
Client:
Acura
ECD/Production:
Margaret Keene
VP, Director of Creative & Content:
Dylan Schwartz
Creative Director:
Emile Doucette
Copywriter:
Eileen Moss
Art Director:
Kristina Litvin
Art Director:
MyTran Dang
Senior Broadcast Producer:
Mary Donington
Sr. Business Affairs Manager:
Davina Turnbull
Music Supervisor:
Danica Bates
Managing Director:
Cameron McNaughton
SVP Group Account Director:
Nicole Neopolitan
Account Director:
Courtney Calvert
Account Supervisor:
Nancy Ramirez
Senior Account Executive:
Kylie Mugg
Product Knowledge Director:
Curtis Millward
SVP Director of Strategy:
Tom Donovan
Senior Brand Specialist:
Alex Sharkey
Senior Project Manager:
Veronica De La Rosa
Production Company:
A White Label Product
Director:
Joe Wright
Executive Producer:
Ellen Clarke
Executive Producer:
Annique De Caestecker
Head of Production:
Mari Geraci
Producer:
Ron Mohrhoff
Director of Photography:
Ross McLennan
Editor:
Bruce Herrman
Editorial:
Lost Planet
Assistant Editor:
Sterling Robertson
Executive Producer:
Gary Ward
Producer:
Tim Kirkpatrick
Color Correction:
Company 3
Colorist:
Siggy Ferstl
Senior Producer:
Matt Moran
Visual Effects:
MPC
Visual Effects Supervisor:
Benji Davidson
Visual Effects Supervisor:
Mike Wynd
Head of CG:
Jason Schugardt
CG Artist:
Mike Wynd
CG Artist:
Andrew Price
CG Artist:
Brendon Echsner
CG Artist:
Hayley O'Neil
CG Artist:
Jacob Patrick
CG Artist:
Jaemin Lee
CG Artist:
Jessica Groom
CG Artist:
Matt Burns
CG Artist:
Matthew Maude
CG Artist:
Nate Usiak
CG Artist:
Parker Sellers
CG Artist:
Steward Burris
CG Artist:
Ajai V John
CG Artist:
Inigo Vimal Roy
CG Artist:
Jyoti Prakash Panda
CG Artist:
Sumesh Chammancheri
Flame Artist/Compositor:
Benji Davidson
Flame Artist/Compositor:
Gustavo Bellon
Flame Artist/Compositor:
Michael Dobbs
Flame Artist/Compositor:
Warren Paleos
Head of Production:
Jeff Werner
Executive Producer:
Lexi Stern
Producer:
Hillary Thomas
Audio Post:
Lime Studios
Audio Mixer:
Rohan Young
Audio Mixer:
Zac Fisher
Audio Assistant:
Ben Tomastik
Audio Assistant:
Kevin McAlpine
Executive Producer:
Susie Boyajan
Track Name:
"Runnin' With The Devil"
Artist:
Van Halen

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